IT'S more than four years since Italian giant Fiat came to the rescue and steered Chrysler/Jeep away from the then ailing General Motors group.
During that time, Chrysler - noted for flair, functionality and competitive pricing - have formed a strong partnership with Lancia - famed for their engineering prowess, innovative design and the very best in chic Italian style.
The first result from this somewhat unlikely union was the small Ypsilon family hatchback, which showed Lancia were very much alive and kicking.
So 25 years after the first Ypsilon's launch, the fourth-generation Ypsilon had the honour of rekindling the Lancia marque in the UK, albeit badged and marketed under the Chrysler brand.
This "mini flagship" - at just 3.84 metres in length - offered a heady mix of luxury, technology, power, convenience, comfort, charm and style.
For the Ypsilon was a stylish five-door compact hatch with hidden door handles at the rear, giving it the look typical of a more sporty three-door coupé.
Yet clever packaging meant it offered masses of room to swallow up to five people in comfort and came with one of the most spacious boots in its segment.
Power for the Ypsilon came via a series of proven Fiat Group engines. First up and kicking off the range was the lively 1.2-litre, eight-valve Fire engine which delivered 69bhp.
This tried and tested powerplant had over time been given a series of updates, including Start&Stop technology which helped cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around five per cent.
The second engine, the revolutionary 900cc TwinAir, was the ideal solution for city use but, compared with the above mentioned 1.2-litre unit, had more power and increased torque.
The first of a new family of two-cylinder engines, this 85bhp turbocharged unit delivered a whopping 30 per cent reduction in both fuel consumption and emissions than that of a more-conventional four-cylinger engine offering equal performance.
In addition, for more "eco-friendly" driving and even better fuel economy, pressing an ECO button on the dashboard limited torque to 100Nm at 2,000rpm.
This allowed the car to deliver CO2 emission levels of 97g/km with the DFN semi-automatic gearbox and 99g/km when mated to a manual gearbox.
For those looking for a diesel alternative, there was also the 1.3-litre MultiJet II, again with Start&Stop, which delivered a maximum output of 95bhp at 4,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at just 1,500rpm.
This engine emitted just 99g/km of CO2 emissions in the combined cycle and was one of the second-generation of MultiJet engines which also offered benefits in terms of consumption, noise levels and driveability.
Another trick up the Ypsilon's sleeve was its gear shift indicator, a genuine "co-pilot" that prompted drivers to change up or down the box to make best use of the available torque.
To round off the fuel-saving measures, cuts to emissions were also aided by new-generation 15-inch low rolling resistance tyres developed by Goodyear.
With three trim levels, six upholstery trims, three alloy wheel designs and 17 body colours - four of which were two-tone - there were more than 600 possible different combinations for buyers to choose from, and along with an extensive range of options, it meant that every Ypsilon had the makings of being an exclusive one-off machine.
Prices for a used Ypsilon look something of a bargain, so expect to pay between £2,815 and £4,145 for a 2011 11-plate entry-level 1.2-litre petrol in SE trim.
A TwinAir two-cylinder example will range between £3,060 and £4,510, while the 1.3-litre diesel MultiJet will have a price tag ranging from £3,480 and £5,230.
Move up a year to 2012 on a 12-plate and prices throughout the range will rise by anything from £500 to £700, while stepping up from SE to Limited trim will set you back a similar amount.